Health and Human Rights (Health Hum Right Int J)

Publisher: François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

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Website Health and Human Rights: An International Journal website
Other titles Health and human rights
ISSN 2150-4113
OCLC 31283974
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publications in this journal

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    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses a human rights-based initiative developed in Puno, Peru, in which indigenous women seek to address problems with access and quality of care by monitoring their government-run health facilities. The evidence of impact presented here is based on a qualitative study of the rightsbased monitoring initiative (53 key informant interviews in 2010-2011), corroborated by findings from a review of previous qualitative and quantitative assessments of the initiative. The research findings show that the citizen monitors are able to identify, document, and act on a set of persistent "everyday injustices" experienced by health care users. These can include illegal financial charges, abusive or dismissive treatment, extended wait times, and culturally insensitive care. These results suggest that citizen monitoring can lead to important changes at the health facility level, as well as in the lives of the volunteer monitors. It can also provide key information that can be used to put previously neglected concerns onto local and national health policy agendas. However, as this article explores, the citizen monitoring initiative faces several of its own challenges.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: In 2010, Vermont adopted a new law embracing human rights principles as guidelines for health care reform, and in 2011, Vermont was the first state in the US to enact framework legislation to establish a universal health care system for all its residents. This article reports on the Vermont Workers' Center's human rights-based approach to universal health care and the extent to which this approach influenced decision makers. We found the following: (1) by learning about the human right to health care and sharing experiences, Vermonters were motivated to demand universal health care; (2) mobilizing Vermonters around a unified message on the right to health care made universal health care politically important; (3) using the human rights framework to assess new proposals enabled the Vermont Workers' Center to respond quickly to new policy proposals; (4) framing health care as a human right provided an alternative to the dominant economics-based discourse; and (5) while economics continues to dominate discussions among Vermont leaders, both legislative committees on health care use the human rights principles as guiding norms for health care reform. Importantly, the principles have empowered Vermonters by giving them more voice in policymaking and have been internalized by legislators as democratic principles of governance.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: In response to new scientific developments, UNAIDS, WHO, and global health financing institutions have joined together to promote a "fast-track" global scale-up of testing and treatment programs. They have set ambitious targets toward the goal of ending the three diseases by 2030. These numerical indicators, based on infectious disease modeling, can assist in measuring countries' progressive realization of the right to health. However, they only nominally reference the catastrophic impact that human rights abuses have on access to health services; they also do not measure the positive impact provided by law reform, legal aid, and other health-related human rights programs. Drawing on experience at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has incorporated expanded stakeholder consultation and human rights programming into its grants, the article argues that addressing human rights barriers to access is often an ad hoc activity occurring on the sidelines of a health grantmaking process that has focused on the scale-up of biomedical programs to meet global health indicators. To ensure that these biomedical programs have impact, UN agencies and health financing mechanisms must begin to more systematically and proactively integrate human rights policy and practice into their modeling and measurement tools.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: The impact of human rights interventions on health outcomes is complex, multiple, and difficult to ascertain in the conventional sense of cause and effect. Existing approaches based on probable (experimental and statistical) conclusions from evidence are limited in their ability to capture the impact of rights-based transformations in health. This paper argues that a focus on plausible conclusions from evidence enables policy makers and researchers to take into account the effects of a co-occurrence of multiple factors connected with human rights, including the significant role of "context" and power. Drawing on a subject-near and interpretive (in other words, with regard to meaning) perspective that focuses on the lived experiences of human rights-based interventions, the paper suggests that policy makers and researchers are best served by evidence arrived at through plausible, observational modes of ascertaining impact. Through an examination of what human rights-based interventions mean, based on the experience of their operationalization on the ground in culturally specific maternal and reproductive health care contexts, this paper contributes to an emerging scholarship that seeks to pluralize the concept of evidence and to address the methodological challenges posed by heterogeneous forms of evidence in the context of human rights as applied to health.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: This paper argues that the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the United Nations Human Rights Council can be a critical avenue for promoting a human rights-based approach to sexual and reproductive health and well-being due to its reliance on the principles of participation and accountability. Drawing on evidence from the UPR process since its inception in 2008, the paper analyzes the impact of the UPR in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights. The evidence collected speaks to the political opportunity represented by the UPR at the country level to enhance government accountability and national dialogue on sexual and reproductive health and rights among key stakeholders. However, the UPR should not be seen in isolation from other human rights mechanisms. Countries' implementation of UPR recommendations should be done conjointly with the guidance provided by other human rights mechanisms, including the expert views of United Nations treaty monitoring bodies and Special Procedures, and alongside strong national human rights protection systems.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: Palliative care has been defined as care that is person-centered and attentive to physical symptoms and psychological, social, and existential distress in patients with severe or life-threatening illness. The identification of access to palliative care and pain treatment as a human rights issue first emerged among palliative care advocates, physicians, and lawyers in the 1990s, with a basis in the right to health and the right to be free from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. Using a case study approach, we evaluate the results of a human rights-based advocacy approach on access to pain medicine and palliative care in India, Kenya, and Ukraine. In each country, human rights advocacy helped raise awareness of the issue, identify structural barriers to care, define government obligations, and contribute to the reform of laws, policies, and practices impeding the availability of palliative care services. In addition, advocacy efforts stimulated civil society engagement and high-level political leadership that fostered the implementation of human rights-based palliative care programs. Globally, access to palliative care was increasingly recognized by human rights bodies and within global health and drug policy organizations as a government obligation central to the right to health.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: This paper summarizes the background, methodology, results, and lessons learned from SaluDerecho, the Initiative on Priority Setting, Equity and Constitutional Mandates in Health. Originally facilitated by the capacity-building arm of the World Bank in 2010, it was implemented in Latin American countries and later expanded to other regions of the world. Segmentation, decentralization, and lack of coordination in health systems; weak information systems; stratified societies; and hierarchical power relations in participating countries are some of the characteristics that inhibit a human rightsbased approach to health. Hence, deliberate interventions like SaluDerecho are vital. Facilitating the participation of multiple stakeholders in a more informed and transparent dialogue creates a "safe" working environment to co-create policy solutions to improve transparency and accountability. The proposed evaluation methodology involves several steps that begin with an assessment of behavioral changes in actors (including policy makers, citizens, payers, and health care providers) that reshape relationships and, over time, change the functioning of health systems. Despite certain limitations, SaluDerecho has provided evidence of positive change among participating countries.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: Global momentum around women's, children's, and adolescents' health, coupled with the ambitious and equalizing agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has exposed a tension between the need for comprehensive, multi-actor, rights-based approaches that seek to "close the gaps" and a growing economic and political imperative to demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness, and returns on specific investments. To address this challenge, this paper proposes a framework to measure "results" in a way that offers a more nuanced understanding of the impact of human rights-based approaches and their complexity, as well as their contextual, multi-sectoral, and evolving nature. We argue that the impact of human rights-based approaches is best measured across a spectrum of change-at the individual, programmatic, structural, and societal levels. Such an analysis would allow for more accurate assessments of the cumulative effect of these changes. The paper also underscores the long-overdue need to better define the parameters of a human rights-based approach to health. This is an important part of the research agenda on human rights and health in the context of the SDGs and the Global Strategy for Women's, Children's and Adolescents' Health, and amid calls for better measurement and greater accountability for resources, results, and rights at all levels. While this paper focuses on women's, children's, and adolescents' health, the proposed framework can apply as readily to other areas of health and provides a new frame of reference for assessing the impact of human rights-based approaches.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: This article provides the background to an analysis of the Human Rights in Healthcare Programme in England and Wales. Using evidence from source materials, summary publications, and official reports, it charts a small but important change in the relationship between health and human rights and shows how a small number of National Health Service organizations used a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to develop resources aimed at improving the quality of health services and health outcomes. Through a case study of one participating organization, it examines the development of approaches to measuring the outcomes and impacts of HRBAs. The article argues that because of the way the Programme was set up, it is not likely to provide the level of evidence of impact required to bring about a profound change in the relationship between human rights and health care. There is a need for a different approach that considers the big human rights questions that need to be asked.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: For the past few decades, there has been intense debate in bioethics about the standard of care that should be provided in clinical trials conducted in developing countries. Some interpret the Declaration of Helsinki to mean that control groups should receive the best intervention available worldwide, while others interpret this and other international guidelines to mean the best local standard of care. Questions of justice are particularly relevant where limited resources mean that the local standard of care is no care at all. Introducing human rights law into this complex and longstanding debate adds a new and important perspective. Through non-derogable rights, including the core obligations of the right to health, human rights law can help set a minimum standard of care. Copyright 2015 Marouf and Esplin. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: Human rights, including the right to health, are grounded in protecting and promoting human dignity. Although commitment to human dignity is a widely shared value, the precise meaning and requirements behind the term are elusive. It is also unclear as to how a commitment to human dignity translates into specific human rights, such as the right to the highest attainable standard of health, and delineates their scope and obligations. The resulting lack of clarity about the foundations of and justification for the right to health has been problematic in a number of ways. This article identifies the strengths of and some of the issues with the grounding of the right to health in human dignity. It then examines ethical and philosophical expositions of human dignity and several alternative foundations proposed for the right to health, including capability theory and the work of Norman Daniels, to assess whether any offer a richer and more adequate conceptual grounding for the right to health. Copyright 2015 Chapman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: Since 2008, the UN Human Rights Council has been working on a declaration related to the right to peace. The Council has established an Open-Ended Working Group, which is refining the draft declaration. This paper discusses the relationship between the right to health and the right to life in peace; we argue that peace and the conditions that support peace are essential to realize the right to health. Health professionals have an important role to play in promoting the right to a life in peace. We suggest that human dignity, as foundational to all human rights as well as health professionals' codes of ethics, provides a normative basis for the progressive realization of both the rights to health and to life in peace. Copyright 2015 Perry et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Health and Human Rights
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    ABSTRACT: Between October 2011 and September 2013, we conducted research on the use, by police and/or prosecutors, of condom possession as evidence of intent to engage in prostitution-related offenses. We studied the practice in five large, geographically diverse cities in the US. To facilitate our advocacy on this issue, conducted concurrent to and following our research, we developed an advocacy framework consisting of six dimensions: 1) raising awareness, 2) building and engaging coalitions, 3) framing debate, 4) securing rhetorical commitments, 5) reforming law and policy, and 6) changing practice. Using a case study approach, we describe how this framework also provided a basis for the evaluation of our work, and discuss additional considerations and values related to the measurement and evaluation of human rights advocacy. Copyright 2015 Amon, Wurth, and McLemore. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Health and Human Rights